Abu Dhabi: President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday
launched a 24-hour helpline and counselling service dedicated
to help Indian workers in distress in the UAE, which is home
to one of the largest Indian expatriate communities.
Patil officially opened the `Indian Workers Resource
Centre` that will provide the helpline service that is
expected to quicken the mechanism to address any grievances
The President is on a five-day official visit to the
UAE where as many as 1.75 million Indians work.
In a message on the occasion, Overseas Minister
Vayalar Ravi said there are plans to set up such centres in
other embassies of the Gulf countries.
"It will provide financial, legal, psychological
counselling and assistance," Ravi said.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE, M K Lokesh said the
project has been unveiled as all workers do not have
"fairy-tales" to tell and their grievances needed to be
The launch was organised at the prestigious India
The 24-hour helpline, claimed to be the first such
initiative in the world, is being started by the Ministry
of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) to deal with problems faced
by Indian workers.
The helpline would facilitate early succour to
"This will be an important step to take the grievance
redressal mechanism to the doorsteps of the large number of
Indians, who are in distress and in need of urgent
assistance," Patil had said while leaving for the UAE.